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tonight on "world news," i i this the end game? in washington, is the fever breaking? tonight, we're hearing something unusual at the capitol, optimism. is the debt debacle finally nearing an end? the miracle landing. a plane carrying 163 people from new york crashes and splits in 2. how did everybody onboard survive? a cry for help. david muir on assignment in africa tonight, wiwi a new discovery in the famine zone. after that perilous journey to food and freedom, it turns out there's a giant hurdle. "world news" gets answers. the royal repeat. in britain, they're celebratatg the second royal wedding of the year. this time, will and kate try not to steal the spotlight. but remember all those hats? they're back.
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and check out this big thank you. an amazing moment off the coast. how a humpback whale, whose life was saved by a group of researchers, repaid the favor. good evening. i'm dan harris. david muir is on assignment tonight in africa. we'll go to him in just a moment. but we want to start in washington, where tonight, we're seeing something highly unusual. hope. there was a real change of tone today in the debt debate. now, we should say, the hope now, we should say, the hope we're seeing tonight is still very tentative and very fragile. but with the clock ticking down, and there it is, three days left. some of the major players in this game are starting to sound like they might finally be getting down to business to break the impasse. abc's senior political correspondent, jon karl, has been on this story every step of the way. and he leads us off, once again, tonight. jon, good evening to you. >> reporter: good evening, dan. well, the house and the senate
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have spent the last 24 hours on a series of showboats on bills that have no chance of passing. but republican leaders say they're fully engaged with the white house. and have spoken with the president this afternoon to try to find a way to break the impasse. finally, signs of progress.. >> i'm confident and optimistic that we're going to get an agreement in the very near future and resolve this crisis. >> in spite of our differences, we're dealing with reasonable, responsible people, who want this crisis to end as quickly as possible. and i'm confident we will. >> reporter: you wouldn't know it by looking at what congress is actually doing. >> the american people are looking for a real solution. >> reporter: the house spent the day voting down the bill offered by senate democrats, even though the senate hadn't passed it yet. >> there is absolutely no excuse for this reckless, unpatriotic behavior on the part of the republicans.
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>> let it be clear, as god is my witness, we will not compromise on our principles. >> this is a disgraceful moment, mr. dwyer. it is a disgraceful moment. >> not only is the reid plan dead on arrival in the house. it appears to be dead on departure from the senate. >> reporter: but the senate e bitterly debated the bill anyway. >> those who are showing great bravado and great political speeches here, are calling bluffs with other people's chips. >> if my house was on fire, i can't compromise about which part of the house i'm going to save. you save the whole house. or it will all burn down. we either save this country or we do not. >> reporter: no sign of compromise. but the speaker, at least, is confident a deal is coming. >> jon, as we get down to the wire here, are you getting any sense of fear in the air at the capitol? >> reporter: the interesting thing is the answer really is no. leaders on both sides, you talk to them away from the cameras and away from the back and forth, and they believe that
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something will ultimately be done because it's got to be done. but it's interesting. a lot of that is based on the belief that the other side will cave in. by the way, we just heard from harry reid coming back from a white house meeting he had. and the question is, are we closer to a compromise? and he said the answer is no. >> mixed signals, as you say. right now, a very unclear picture. jon karl, thank you for your reporting tonight. we want to take a quick step back from all of the politics for just a moment. and take a look at what all of the wrangling means for the rest of us. we put together a 60-second explainer. let's start with the worst-case scenario, that congress is unable to come up with a deal and america can no longer borrow the money it needs to pay its bills. this would be truly uncharted territory. but here's what it could mean. the stock market swoons, diminishing the value of your 401(k)s and i.r.a.s. and the government stops sending out checks to soldiers, civil servants, and people who depend on social security. but many observers think the
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worst-case is unlikely. so, let's look at the best case, that the politicians cut a deal. that could actually boost people's confidence in the economy, sending stocks up and promoting cocoanies to hire. but even if there is a deal, america could still have its credit rating downgraded, which means the interest rates on your mortgage and your credit cards might go up slightly. so, this whole debt debacle could end up hurting all of us, even if the politicians are able to beat the clock. and there is another way that this game of political chicken going on in washington could impact the rest of us. it c cld hurt america's standing in the eyes of the rest of the world. so, let's bring in abc's christiane amanpour, who is the anchor of "this week." christiane is in washington tonight. christiane, i wonder, how is all of this impacting our reputation abroad? >> well, quite significantly. imagine this. half a world away in
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afghanistan, u.s. soldiers today, meeting with their chief, chairman of the joint chiefs mike mullen, asked, will we get paid? and he was forced to say, i simply don't know. but beyond that, america's international friends and, indeed, its friendemies, are concerned. they say, it is damaging. they call it irresponsible, what's happening in washington. especially china, which holds the most u.s. debtbt. it's calling for a resolution to this. and a key investment manager says to me, that the rest of the world is stunned, bewildered, more than a little worried. and that the damage has already being done. it's already more than a flesh wound. >> always fun to hear the word friendemy on the evening news. christiane, let me just pick up on the last thing you said there. do you really think that even if a deal is done and they beat the clock, that real damage has been done in a lasting way? >> well, look. this is what people there are saying. that the level of thth acrimony, the level of the paralysis, the partisanship here, has sent a discouraging signal about america's ability to lead. about the impasse on its global leadership and its prestige.
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so, these are very concerned international watchers who are intimately and intricately involved with the u.s. economy and who see the u.s. economy and have used the u.s. economy as the most stable in the world and obviously it's the reserve currency, the dollar. that proceeds.ncerned about how >> questions about our ability to lead. christiane, we always appreciate your analysis. thank you. and a reminder, christiane will have the latest on all of this on "this week." her guests will include, david plouffe and republican senator, lindsey graham. now, to an amazing story of survival. look at this picture. this is a plane that literally split in two. 163 people, including at least 2 americans were onboard. it was a caribbean airlines jet from new york city that skidded off the runway in the south american country of guyana. incredibly, everyone survived. here's abc's lisa stark. >> reporter: there was no fire when the plane t te apart.
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and the jet stopped just short of a 200-foot ravine. all that saved lives. >> and the plane practically broke in two. so, we should be grateful for that. >> repororr: the caribbean airlines boeing 737, stopped in trinidad, after leaving new york. and then, on the guyana. it was raining, 1:30 in the morning. the jet touchehedown and the careened off the end of the runway. crashing through an airport fence and on to a dirt road. >> everyone was screaming. >> i told my friend, you know, that, man. we're going to die. we're going to die because the plane, it don't have enough runway to stop. >> reporter: reports say as many as 100 were hurt. just a few seriously. >> investigators are going to first take a look at the speed of the airplane and where it touched down on the runway. that's critical in understanding, especially with a wet runway. >> reporter: accidents where planes run off the end or the side of the runway are the most common type runway mishap. about 30 a year worldwide. and most on landing. it happened in jamaica in 2009. and little rock, arkansas, in 1999.
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there, 11 died. luckily, most of these accidenen are not fatal. the black boxes have been recovered in the guyana crash. and the national transportation safety board will help figure out what went wrong. lisa stark, abc news, washington. and now, to anotheheperilous journey. this one undertaken by some of the most desperate people on this planet. abc news was the first american network on the scene of that massive humanitarian crisis, over in east africa. our david muir, the only american anchor there, reporting on the parents literally carrying their children for miles and miles to s save them om this famine. but as david found out, the final steps can be the hardest. tonight, he's at the teeming dadaab refugee camp in kenya. david? >> reporter: dan, good evening from kenya. and as you know, we've been reporting all week, on that long, perilous journey
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from somalia, to the refugee camps in kenya. for so many of those families, walking on foot, more than 100 miles, to get here. and what we discovered, that once they get to the camps, they're in for another excruciating wait. we pulled up shortly after daybreak. but could already see the line forming in the distance. refugees by the hundreds gathering in front of the large red gate, for the first food. we notice that emerging from the tinder dry desert, more families, finishing the punishing journey from somalia. a mother balancing all of her belongings and her baby, too. the camp has now swollen to 400,000 refugees, the population of cleveland, minneapolis. and not far off, fresh mounds of dirt. the nameless graves for the refugees that didn't survive. this mother just got here. we asked how long it's been since she and her children had anything to eat. six days. once they get through that gate, they wait here. and then, they're brought inside to actually be registered. and i wanted to show you what these families go through here.
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there's actually a computer that they leave their fingerprints on, to register. each family will do this. and then, they're presented with one of these yellow bands. but the big question is, once they getethe bands, they get a ration that lasts 20 days or so at the most. but it can take two months before these families actually get into the refugee camp. they're given a ration of food. but my question is, in many cases, they wait two months before they can get into the camp. there's a huge gap there. >> that's true. and but -- >> reporter: is that a problem? >> it is a problem. >> reporter: the u.n. acknowledged they're overwhelmed. this little boy waiting for his yellow band. cheerful enough to give me a high-five. and just beyond the tent, another child, now wearing his band, slowly, starting to eat again. and beyond these swelling refugee camps here in kenya, the u.n. warned this week in emergency talks, that more than 10 million people could face starvation across the horn of africa, unless they get food and
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quickly. dan, back to you. >> david, thank you. extraordinary reporting. and tomorrow night, david takes us to the unseen epicenter of this famine, as he continues his reporting from africa. and if you want to help the famine victims through organizations, like doctors without borders, it is very easy. go online to our website, and back in washington tonight, while everybody's been focused on that huge debt debate, conservatives in the house of representatives have quietly mounted an unprecedented assault on environmental regulations, including limits on a form of mining that literally shears the top off of mountains in order to get coal. this type of mining is incredibly controversial, even pitting families in coal country against one another. jim sciutto, from west virginia. >> reporter: the coal under these mountains has provided a living for so many families here. but now, some of these families
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are fighting back against the coal companies. so, they're going to shave the top off that mountain? >> yeah. >> reporter: literally moving mountains. >> i told my grandchildren. this place will be yours. but it may not be there. >> reporter: 500 peaks and counting, literally blown up, since the 1970s. all for the coal deep underground. at ground level, you get a real sense of the scale of this. because with mountain top removal mining, all of this goes. the trees, the soil. the ground i'm walking on, a couple hundred feet up, a couple hundred feet down. all of it dug up and pulverized for the coal underneath. but take a flight high above, and the landscape turns to moonscape. when environmental campaigner, robert f. kennedy jr. saw it, filming a new documentary called "the last moununin," he was overwhelmed. >> if you try to blow up a mountain in the berkshires or the adirondacks or in utah, you would be put in jail. >> reporter: massey energy,
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which has the mining rights and is now owned by alpha resources, did not answer repeated requests to speak with us. but it has called the mining cost-effective and safe. and claims to return to landscape close to its original state, where filling in valleys to provide flat land for development. west virginia congressman, nick rahall, also defends mountain top removal. >> what it means is jobs. and what it means is keeping our lights on. >> reporter: some in the community agree, as well. >> a peoplpl united. >> reporter: but on the other side of an increasingly bitter struggle are families like the aleshires, who say their jobs are important. but so are the mountains they grew up with. jim sciutto, abc news, blair, west virginia. and we have one, quick weather note tonight. it turns out tropical storm don was a dud. normally that would be very good news. but not so for south texas and the farmers who were counting on this storm to ease the horrible drought there. people along the coast were evacuated overnight and flights were canceled. but all for not.
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and coming up here on "world was another royal wedding over in britain today. it was different in size. but those hats, they were back. they are institutions at the heart of thousands of small towns all over this country. and they are about to go away. the anger, tonight. and an amazing story of man, beast and gratitude. how a whale says thank you to people who saved her life. great! at progressive, you can compare rates side by side, so you get the same coverage, often for less. wow! that is huge! [ disco playing ] and this is to remind you that you could save hundreds! yeah, that'll certainly stick with me. we'll take it. go, big money! i mean, go. it's your break, honey. same coverage, more savings.
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oh. wait a second. that is a dodge durango. looks like american performance is doing just fine. ♪ carry on. ♪ carry on. i just transferred a prescription to cvs because they have care 1on1. it's where the pharmacist stops and talks to me about safety and saving money with generic prescriptions. laura, let's talk about possible side effects. it's all about me. love that. get care 1on1 and talk savings, safety, and side effects when you transfer or fill a new, ongoing prescription. i'm laura, and this is my cvs. it's all mine. this was a very good day for royal-watchers. queen elizabeth's eldest
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granddaughter, zara, got married in scotland and the whole clan turned out, including cousin william m d his new wife, kate. but unlike their over-the-top wedding, this one was a tad more low-key. abc's lama hasan is on the story from london. >> reporter: the sun was shining. the crowd was loud. and william and kate were greeted like rock stars, as they arrive for today's royal wedding. it was hard for them not to steal the spotlight. because this royal couple don't live like royalty. zara phillips is the queen's granddaughter. but except for the guest list, there was little pomp and ceremony, as she married her long-time boyfriend, mark tindall. >> that's the only real royal connection. other than that, it's like a regular wedding on a saturday afternoon. >> reporter: not that this couple isn't famous.
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they're both world-class athletes. he was a member of the rugby team that took the world cup for britain in 2003. she is expected to compete as a rider in the 2012 olympics. a career she probably would not have had if she had taken a royal title, with all of the duties that go along with it. so, while her cousin gets married in westminster, she's in the quaint scottish church. while 2 billion people worldwide tuned in to the other royal wedding, today's ceremony was just for 400 close friends and family. while william and kate released that formal engagement photo in buckingham palace, zara and mike wore jeans. but there was one similarity between the two weddings. remember that hat? princess beatrice today wore this. no word yet if it's got its own facebook page. lama hasan, abc news, london. >> there was another key difference. zara and mike did not
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many of them in small towns that count on the local post office to link them to the rest of the world. here's abc's david kerley. >> reporter: since the civil war, the small town of star tannery has had its own post office. >> what can i do for you, stamp-wise? >> reportete terry goad may be the last postal employee of star tannery. >> the people want the post office to stay. i wish the economy were different. and i wish the post office were busier. >> reporter: and that's the problem. it's quiet here. only aboutut8 customers a day. just a few pieces of mail dropped in the box outside. it cost $86,000 to run this post office last year. it only brought in $30,000. does it make you angry? >> yeah. >> reporter: wesley rudolph and ththe that live in the 400 homes in this town at the base of the shenandoah mountains will still get mail delivered.
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but they'll have to drive 15 miles to another post office, to mail a package, losing a sense of community. >> people who make these decisions have no clue as to what country people go through. >> reporter: but it's not just about money for star tannery. >> i know history doesn't make dollars for anybody. it's another piece of our past, our present and our future. it's another piece gone. >> reporter: a piece of their way of life. david kerley, abc news, star tannery, virginia. and coming up on the broadcast, astonishing pictures. can a whale show emotion? you be the judge. specialists, lots of doctors, lots of advice... and my hands were full. i couldn't sort through it all. with unitedhealthcare, it's different. we have access to great specialists, and our pediatrician gets all the information. everyone works as a team. and i only need to talk to one person about her care. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for 70 millili americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare.
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finally tonight, an extraordinary show of joy and gratitude. this happened off the coast of baja, california, when a marine researcher and his family came upon a humpback whale entangled in nylon netting. what happened next, you have to see for yourself. >> when we first approached the whale, she was in horrible shape. the decision to rescue the whale came slowly. but knew there was a risk. but then, we decided to go for it. she knows what's going on. she's got to be able to breathe, too. you could feel the power. we were pulled for at least half a mile.
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watch out. watch out. this was a team effort. she kind of knew that we were her chance. we were her lifeline. the moment when the whale got fully released from the netting, the show that she exhibited afterwards was just showing its joy of being alive. for a humpback whale, that's a magnificent thing. >> i know what she's doing. >> what is she doing, honey? >> she's showing us she's free. >> yeah. >> as we said, extraordinary. that's going to do it for "world news" on this saturday. i'm dan harris. you can get the latest news anytime on and i'll see you right back here on "good morning america" tomorrow. for david muir and the rest of us at abc news, good night.
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